BWW Review: BLITHE SPIRIT at Vagabond Players - Community Theater at Its Best

BWW Review: BLITHE SPIRIT at Vagabond Players - Community Theater at Its Best

I do wish I could get to more community theater. It has been too long since my last review of shows that deserve more attention. There are a plethera of local such productions in the Baltimore/Washington area which provide affordable and entertaining theater. I recently attended the Charm City Players and their wonderful production of MAMMA MIA!
The 103 year old Vagabond Players is located in Baltimore's historic Fells Point near Broadway and Thames Street. It has only 98 seats so you are always close to the action.
There is no theater in Baltimore closer to restaurants and bars. At intermission, one can visit a cookie emporium (Insomnia Cookies), less than $2 for a delicious warm cookie located at 812 S. Broadway (try the macadamia) or have a tasty scoop of gelato at Pitango (802 S. Broadway). Where else can you do that?
Sir Noel Coward wrote this play in about two weeks time in 1941 in the middle of World War II. He wanted to to offer a little bit of levity to the English. The play concerns a novelist from Kent, Charles Condomine (the impeccable Eric Stein) and his second wife Ruth (the talented Barbara Madison Hauck). His first wife Elvira (the comedic Kerry Brady) died of a heart attack in the home.
He decides to invite his friends Dr.and Mrs. Bradman (the real husband and wife team Duncan and and Dianne Wood) for an evening of entertainment that would feature a seance conducted by an eccentric Clairvoyant (the fabulous Maribeth Vogel). Coward himself would play Charles while it was on tour in England.
The play takes place in the living room of the Condomines. Following a hilarious seance, Charles' first wife (dead for five years) emerges. Only Charles (and the audience) can see her which leads to much hilarity. Charles has to be careful who he is talking to. Ruth must deal with this predicament and becomes insanely jealous of her husband's infatuation with his ex-wife.
.Adding to the fun are the Bradmans.
Wait till you see how wife #2 takes to having Elvira arrive at her home. I will not spoil the surprise.
Playing the Condomine's maid Edith is the delightful Alyssa Wellman House who acts like the "road runner" whenever she answers the door bell or clears the dishes.
The Design Team does yoeman's work: Set Designer Roy Steinman, Lighting Designer Adrienne Giesz, Sound Design by Eric Stein, and the wonderful Ghost Costuming by Mary Bova (A, T. Jones & Co.).
Director Goldklang does a masterfull job pulling this comedy together. It is a nice touch that he includes the music of the playwright with songs such as
"Sail Away", "Don't Put your Daughter on the Stage Mrs. Washington", and "You Were There" with Coward singing.
For an evening or afternoon of laughter, check out BLITHE SPIRIT at the Vagabond Players. It runs until May 12, 2019. For tickets, call 410-563-9135 or visit www.vagabondplayers.org.
Next at Vagabonds is Arthur Miller's brilliant THE CRUCIBLE running May 31 to June 30, 2019.
THIS AND THAT
The Tony Awards will be announced Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
NBC's THE TODAY SHOW will once again have Broadway week where they feature Broadway musicals.
Monday AIN'T TOO PROUD was presented.
Tuesday will be KISS ME KATE.
Wednesday has HADESTOWN.
Thursday will be BEETLEJUICE.
Friday will feature THE CHER SHOW.

Speaking of THE CHER SHOW, playing the younger Cher is 18 year old is Micaela Diamond making her Broadway debut. I happened to see her perform six years ago at the Wagner Middle School in New York City where she played "Adelaide" in GUYS AND DOLLS under the direction of my daughter, Britt, her theater teacher.

cgshubow@broadwayworld.com



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